Barkley Wins Young Player Accolade
Ross Barkley has won the Everton Young Player of the Season award for the second year in succession.
Twelve months on from collecting the same prize, the midfielder was once again back on stage at the St George’s Hall after he topped the evertonfc.com online poll.
2013/14 will go down as Barkley’s breakthrough season, the campaign where his much-heralded potential showed genuine signs of fulfilment with a series of mature, magic - and often game-changing - performances. It is the year where Barkley went from Everton squad player to a headline-grabbing England international.
“It’s a great dressing room to be in for a young player,” Barkley said after receiving the award from Tim Howard and Ian Snodin. “The likes of Jags, Distin and Bainesy have helped me.
"It means everything to me because it is always special to win these personal accolades. But they mean more when the team is doing well.
"I've really enjoyed this season and so have the players. We set out to reach Europe and that is what we have done."
The Wavertree-born youngster had only made 20 first-team appearances prior to this season but under Roberto Martinez’s stewardship, he has flourished and been a near-ever present for the Blues this term, playing in all but three of the Club’s Premier League fixtures.
Martinez’s faith in Barkley was evident from the moment the Spaniard walked through the doors at Goodison Park last summer. An ‘incredible talent’ and an ‘impressive young man’ were words used by the manager as he took a good look at the 20-year-old throughout pre-season.
Barkley was handed a place in the starting line-up for the season-opener at Norwich City – and he marked the occasion with a breathtaking left-foot finish, one of seven goals scored this campaign.
Less than a month later and Barkley had earned his first England cap when he emerged from the bench in England’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Moldova in September. Further Three Lions appearances against Chile and Germany at Wembley followed as the starlet’s stock continued to rise.
Evertonians have since become accustomed to lung-bursting runs forward, two-footed trickery and stunning strikes from Barkley – goals against Swansea City, Newcastle United and, most recently, Manchester City being cases in point.
But as the 2013/14 Premier League draws to its close, Barkley’s season may not yet be over. Indeed, a period in Brazil at the World Cup could well form a significant part of the youngster’s summer plans.
The 2013/14 Everton Young Player of the Season Award was sponsored by Palm Sugar.